Employee Inspiration During COVID-19: Poems

The next part of our employee inspiration series continues with sharing additional creative submissions. Several UF Health employees wrote and shared poems about how they’re feeling during the pandemic as part of the initiative launched by the Center for Healthy Minds and Practice and UF Health Employee Wellness.

Enjoy reading these reflections from our employees, as we all continue to power through the pandemic.

While I Was Counting the Beans

Traci Kyle, a fixed asset coordinator in the Accounting department, authored this poem in honor of all medical personnel providing direct care for patients during the pandemic. – See Image Submission jpg icon

While I was counting the beans
You witnessed COVID’s devastation never shrinking from the scene
While I was editing spreadsheets
You provided compassionate, life-sustaining care, and
often suffering defeats
While I was preparing for audit
You faced each uncertain day with courageous fortitude
without one solitary regret
While I was working from home
You ended innumerable days with the exhausting weight
of sorrow and cried alone
While I was measuring expenses
You spent hours away from your families to administer
to the stricken and defenseless
While I was logging off each day
You moved my grateful heart to wish you continued
blessings and strength to come your way

— Traci Kyle

7th Heaven

This poem was written by Marilyn Behm, a registered nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, or MICU. The MICU has a designated COVID-19 unit, which Marilyn is symbolizing in this poem. – See Image Submission jpg icon

MICU, a place we call COVID land.
COVID land has no land
It’s located in 7th heaven
It’s a place where dreams end and nightmares begin.
It’s also a place where miracles happen
It’s where you find angels with invisible wings.
Day and night they tarry performing miracles along the way.
Rejoicing with every win, saddened with every loss.
They had become the surrogate to the family their patients couldn’t see.

Please take good care of my daughter…
I know my wife is in good hands…
I thank you for taking good care of my husband…
God bless you all for all you do…
You are all in my prayers…

These are the sweet words they hear every day.
Words that were meant to encourage and give strength surprisingly hurts to hear.

For these angels knows their fears
The faith, the trust and the love we hear over the phone

The unspoken message of longing for their loved ones

The agony in a husband’s voice… if only he can touch his wife

A mother’s love felt through her prayers and positive words

A daughter’s excitement when she was able to pray over the phone to her unstable mother

A father’s face started to move as his daughter’s voice resonates over the phone

Seeing their loved ones in a rollercoaster of instability

Seeing what they couldn’t see

The thought of permanent damage after recovery

Holding back the words, “Honey, your beloved may not come home”

Fighting back fears for ourselves and loved ones exposed, we were winning…

Until a colleague and a friend fell victim too.

The angels cried inside.

Humans… With all the strengths and weaknesses,
With all the pain and glory,
Yes we are humans
We are angels with invisible wings.
Performing the impossible is what we do well

In 7th heaven, that’s where we dwell.

— Marilyn Behm

Seasons – My Journey through Poetry

Written by Mary Thomas, an office manager at UF Health Family Medicine and Pediatrics – BaymeadowsSee Image Submission jpg icon

I’ve had moments of joy and moments of despair.
But through all my moments, my God was there.
I’ve shed tears of sadness for the people and things we lost,
Realizing in every choice we make there will be cost.
There were tears of joy for the moments of conquest.
To encourage myself and others I repeated, ‘Let’s do our best!’
There’ve been sleepless nights, frustration, moments of perplexity when things were unclear.
Each day brought an attitude of gratitude for the things we hold dear.
In the mist of storm COVID, radical protest, feeling blindsided and deceived,
waiting on the next wave to come, I heard the world saying,
“Just let me breathe”
With each new day, there came a glimmer of renewed hope,
New life means new beginnings and new strength to cope.
The rainbow over the horizon, reminds us that change is on the way,
Rather it comes in a second, a moment, an hour, or another long hard day.
We hold on to the calling to offer care and compassion during a time such as this
Quoting, “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER,” because it’s truly the kindness that we miss.
So, whether we agree or disagree, no matter who’s right or wrong.
As long as we stand together – WE STAND TOGETHER STRONG!

— Mary Thomas

Our series will continue over the next few weeks, as we will share short stories from employees. Find more inspiring posts and updates about our physicians, providers, nurses and staff by following our UF Health Jacksonville Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

About the Author


Jonathan Vredenburg

Wellness Educator

Jon is the manager for the Employee Wellness Program for UF Health. Jon has also served as the wellness program coordinator for the City of…

Read all articles by Jonathan Vredenburg